Twenty five years have already passed since the Khojaly genocide as an integral part of the Armenian aggressive and genocide policy against Azerbaijan which resulted in severe and gross violation of international legal norms and principles, as well as of human rights and freedoms, that entered in the world history as a bloody tragedy.
In the night from 25 to 26 February of 1992 the military units of the Armenian armed forces equipped with heavy armaments invaded to the Khojaly city of Azerbaijan, the criminals ruthlessly killed civilians. The city was razed to the ground, houses and social infrastructure were completely destroyed and burned. During the Khojaly massacre 613 people lost their lives, hundreds civilians were seriously injured and 1,275 people were taken hostage. Captives and hostages were brutally tortured.
As the result of Armenia's ethnic cleansing, who expanded the scale of its military aggression against Azerbaijan by committing this crime, beside the Nagorno Karabakh, which is inseparable integral part of our country, occupied Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Jabrayil, Fizuli, Gubadly, Zangilan regions, 20 thousand Azerbaijanis have lost their life, 20 percent of our territory was occupied. As a result of the occupation more than one million Azerbaijanis became refugees and IDPs, their basic rights were infringed outrageously.
Our National Leader Heydar Aliyev unveiled the essence of Khojaly genocide and in February, 1994, the Parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan gave legal and political assessment of this crime.
Continuing the successful political path paved by National Leader Heydar Aliyev, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan has always underlined that the only possible solution of Armenia Azerbaijan Nagorno Karabakh conflict could be within the sovereignty, territorial integrity and internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan, and has stated about the necessity for the unconditional withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and prosecution of those who committed the act of genocide.
“Justice for Khojaly” international campaign initiated by Leyla Aliyeva, the Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, is one of the purposeful measures taken for dissemination in the world of the true information about the Khojaly genocide and recognition of this tragedy as an act of genocide committed against the people of Azerbaijan. Thus, relevant decisions have been made on this genocide act in several countries.
Within last years, the genocide policy of Armenia against Azerbaijan is condemned all over the world; bloody crime committed in Khojaly is getting recognized in compliance with the norms of international law. To the point, the Parliaments of Mexico, Columbia, Peru, Pakistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, the Czech Republic, Sudan, Jordan, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, Slovenia and Djibouti already recognized the crime in Khojaly as genocide from the perspective of the international legal norms.
In addition, twenty one States of the USA namely, the State of Massachusetts, Texas, New Jersey, Maine, New Mexico, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida, Mississippi, West Virginia, Indiana, Utah, Nebraska, Hawaii, Montana and Arizona have already passed the related resolutions.
The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) was the first international organization that recognized Armenia as an aggressor and the Khojaly tragedy as genocide. The aim of the Campaign “Justice for Khojaly” organized by the Youth Forum of OIC, which carried out in numerous countries of the world, is to make the international community enlightened about this bloody event.
On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Khojaly tragedy paying tribute to the memory of martyrs, it should be emphasized that this crime must be investigated by the special international commission in compliance with the norms and principles of international law, without any double standards, be recognized by the competent international organizations as an act of genocide, and the perpetrators of this crime should be brought to justice. The respected international organizations have to condemn unilaterally this act of genocide and to increase their efforts for just punishment of the offenders of this crime as soon as possible.
Every 26th of February, thousands of people visit the Memorial of Khojaly Genocide, lay carnations in front of the Memorial and honour the memories of martyrs. The people of Azerbaijan remember this genocide and express its deep contempt to those who committed genocide. Khojaly genocide will remain in our nation's memory forever.